Cohen And Marot Still At Loggerheads

The deal Seatwave struck with acts including The Enemy, Seasick Steve and Reverend And The Makers has sparked another skirmish in the ongoing war of words between company chief exec Joe Cohen and Resale Rights Society chairman elect Marc Marot.

Marot described it as "a welcome change of heart" for a man who once told the Guardian that artists who ask for a share of secondary ticketing revenues are like "a bunch of pigs at the trough."

Cohen hit back by saying Marot’s clients and their fans would have been better served if he had taken a commercial approach to the secondary market.

"Instead he chose to demand payments with no consideration in return and thus he has failed in representing the interests of artists," Cohen said. "It’s obvious to everyone in the industry that the RRS was a flawed concept that has now died a death."

Cohen also said Seatwave recognises it’s time to come together to create relationships that benefit artists, promoters and fans. But Marot said the acts involved will need to do hundreds of similar deals to cover the market.

"Seatwave is only one of an estimated 750 secondary ticketing Web sites worldwide. No matter how generous a deal they have cut in this case, there are still potentially hundreds of other sites that will be selling tickets by these artists without recompense," Marot explained. "That really is the point of the RRS levy proposal – a simple, transparent system to capture transactions which fall outside individual deals."

It isn’t the first time the RRS, which was launched by the Music Managers Forum in December to lobby for fairness in the secondary market, has had words with one of its major players.

Three months ago, Marot said the deal between Madonna and viagogo, which made Eric Baker’s company the "official" ticket resale Web site for her upcoming tour, doesn’t protect consumers or help artists.

"The nature of these exclusives is meaningless," he said, pointing out that they don’t prevent tickets from being resold on hundreds of other sites.

Baker hit back by saying Marot and his organisation were "just upset because they’re not getting paid."

The RRS wants a blanket agreement similar to the Performing Rights Society, which would mean artists get a piece of every ticket transaction.